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Old September 26th, 2003, 08:12 PM   #1
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Underwater housings?

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has any idea where I can get a DEEP underwater housing for the gs100?

By deep, I mean 250-300 feet not 20 feet...

I know of one place that will custom build but it would be prety expensive...

Thanks for any info anyone can give me.
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Old September 26th, 2003, 10:03 PM   #2
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Any housing capable of decent depth is going to cost you quite a bit. Check out Ikelite, they don't have any Panasonic housings listed on their site but they will make custom ones and are probably the best value you will get.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 04:37 AM   #3
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One Jap company that certainly makes underwater housing especially for the GS100 is Zillion. It won't allow you to go 250 ft...approx. 148 ft (45m) is the maximum depth. Check out the following link and make sure to set your text encoder to Jap.

http://www8.ocn.ne.jp/~zillion/NV-GS100/index.html

Compared to the cost of the GS100K itself, the cost of this housing sure feels like a zillion to me.

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Old September 27th, 2003, 05:08 AM   #4
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I wonder also if you would need some sort of light attachment for that kind of depth. I never shot underwater, but I used to do some scuba in the clear waters of "Lake of the Woods." You go down 10 feet or more, and it gets dark.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 09:58 AM   #5
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You sure do need lights when shooting underwater even at shallow depths as the water acts like a big blue gel.

The standard Ikelite housings, they now have one for the JVC HD cams, is rated to 200ft/60m. That's about as deep as you will get from most consumer/recration level products. To go deeper you are looking at commercial diving gear and that is going to cost you big, like 3-4x what the GS100 cost.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 01:41 PM   #6
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Cool.

Hi Allan,

Cool link to the zillion site. I'd never heard of them. Thanks.

I brought up the page through bablefish and it translated OK.

The only 2 things I don't like is the depth rating (only 150 feet or so) and that there is no wide angle "dome" port but maybe that can be added as an option... Hmm... I do like how compact the housing is though.

I've been digging around the net and found a company in Florida that makes a "generic" tube shaped housing that can be customised for most small video cameras (they list the pv-dv953/mx5000 specificaly as compatible) that would probably work as well. They are rated to 300 feet so it may be the way I end up going.

http://www.aquavideo.com

It looks like it should cost roughly the same as the camera itself did ($US 1,245)

--------------

Hi Frank,

Yes, you do need to bring LOTS of light to film at depth. On a bright, clear day in clear tropical water, you still need lights to replace the reds and yellows absorbed by the water above you filtering it out of the sunlight. Otherwise everything looks very blue.

My plan is to get a housing that can go to the depths I'll eventualy need and then just film shallow stuff with only a red filter and white balance tweeks for now.

Short term, I plan to borrow/rent lights as needed till I can afford to get a decent set of them as well (they are normaly about the cost of the housing itself - sometimes more - ARGH!).

--------------

Hi Adrian,

Yah, the depths I want are well beyond "recreational" depths... I'm a technical divemaster (instructors assistant for decompression and trimix diving).

I want to be able to film studants so we can go over the tapes after dives to show them visualy what they need to work on such as bouyancy and trim (what angle they float at) and stuff like that.

I also want to be able to film vacation dives and the deeper shipwrecks and stuff I dive on with friends just for fun.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 10:21 PM   #7
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Could be good for showing students the effects of narcosis. I'm still not sure what depth it effects me, so far I've been down to 53m without feeling anything, I think. A very useful but expensive training tool.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 08:54 PM   #8
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Hi,

Stay away from Aquavideo. I ordered one from them some years ago for a Sony TRV900 and when I finally got it by mail there was no red filter with it and the finishing was so poor that it seems it was build by someone with 2 left hands holding a hammer and ax (no ofense ment to lefthanders). Complained to them several times without response.

Some time ago, I posted several links on camcorderinfo for Pana housings.

Since GS100 is a new model, in any case you will have to send the camera to the housing manufacturer. Since you live in the US, I would recommend Ikelite. I used Ikelite with Sony cams several years and I'm very happy with their clear housings. Never had a leak but anyway, it would be easy to spot.

The other option would be to go for Zillion. Some time ago I wrote to them and at the time they informed me that they had no immediate plans to make this housing. Good to see that they changed their plans.

By the way, should you decide to have a housing taylor made in the US, namely by Ikelite, please let me know. I might order a housing for myself at the same time. Thanks and good luck.
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Old September 30th, 2003, 06:24 PM   #9
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Oh well...

Hi Joao,

I may not have a choice other than Aquavideo for what I want...

I think I've got it worked out to the point that I only need the pressure housing with 3 mechanical controls on it. Power on/off, tape/card switch and white balance.

I only need Aquavideo to get the camera (with the raynox 6600 on it) mounted to see through the front port and work with the 3 mechanical controls correctly.

The rest, I can use the pana infrared remote for.

I plan to use reed switches mounted inside the housing and buttons with magnets to triger the reed switches from the outside of the housing for the rest of the controls. The reed switches will be connected to a gutted infrared remote mounted under the camera with a mirror or prism to shield and redirect the beam to the camera input and also prevent the infrared light flickers from being picked up by the lense...

I believe I'll only need a total of 7 buttons from the remote to get all the functions I need:

record on/off
zoom in
zoom out
take photo
menu on/off
menu next
menu enter

I could also add 4 more for rewind, play, ffwd and stop if I want to have playback functionality but I don't see why I'd need it underwater. I'll be doing all the editing on my home PC afterwords. Just stick in a fresh tape for each dive and make sense of it afterwords.

This would give me access to almost every control except turning the flash on/off (should not needed if I have video lights) and changing between cinema modes and night shot... The night shot I think I can mostly simulate with menu shutter speed and db gain controls though and I plan to only shoot in cinema mode so I think it'l work out OK.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 11:56 PM   #10
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Hi Craig,

if you get your housing from Aquavideo, please let me know how it went. Maybe my past problem with them was an odd event (or maybe they did not like my face???)...

If it turns out ok and the price is right, I might reconsider and get it from them.

I've been planning to get a new cam for some time now, but so far I was unable to find the right cam/housing combination that would satisfy both my requirements and budget.

Maybe it is this time.

Good luck and hope to hear from you again sometime in the future.
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 03:43 AM   #11
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Based on Aquavideos website, their smaller housings are built out of 6 inch diameter PVC tubes.

I spent a little time last night and roughed out a camera model (with the Raynox in place) in autocad to get a feel for how much space I'd have to work with around the camera.

It looks like there is a reasonable amount of room to work with in there.

http://hometown.aol.com/dc4bs/images/cad_camera.jpg

I'm sure I made the tube section longer than it will end up being but it gives a prety good idea of the space available to work with.
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